Fat’s Back: A Few Good Reasons It Belongs In Your Diet

Kerrygold_ButterRemember the Dark Ages? (No, not the ones from the days of yore.) I mean the ones you probably grew up in…the Low Fat everything craziness. Go ahead, make a face…I totally just did. But good news: They’re over! As it turns out, fat is good for you; necessary even. I’m not just talking about “healthy fats” like olive oil and avocados either. We’re talking butter, full fat dairy, coconut oil, animal fats…the good ol’ fashioned saturated ones we were told to avoid at all costs; the “artery cloggers.” Fat that your grandparents and great grandparents ate on a regular basis. Say what? Yep, they’re good for you.   So, a little history on this for you nay sayers:

A pathologist named Ancel Keys decided to do a little research on the cause of rising heart disease rates. He formed the “Lipid Hypothesis” in which he “showed” the positively correlated relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol and heart disease. The problem is he “cherry picked” these countries (picked countries that would prove his hypothesis) and convinced the AHA with his misleading data. So this is how we got the years of torture with low fat diets and had it not been for the rapidly growing number of researchers crying, “Foul,” we may still be in the dark ages. Low fat; high carbohydrate consumption. Isn’t it convenient that the US grows a ton of grain and needs to sell it….what better way than to recommend a high carbohydrate diet? And guess what came with the high carbohydrate consumption? Drumroll…..increased sugar consumption. Well, we had to replace the fat we took out of food with something! Of course sugar is the logical answer! You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Is it any wonder disease and obesity have skyrocketed? We also replaced saturated fats with refined vegetable oils, like canola oil, margarine, etc. which oxidize when heated, creating free radicals and causing inflammation in the body. Yes, even that extra virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used to cook with, but used in its natural, unheated state: think salads, pestos and such. So what do we cook with now, you ask? Lard (yep, seriously), butter, tallow, palm oil shortening, ghee, coconut oil; fats that are solid at room temperature essentially.   Although I do highly recommend getting the animal fats from a grass-fed source as the omega 6 and omega 3 ratios are balanced in those animals. There are links at the bottom for the coconut oil, palm shortening, butter and ghee that I recommend.

So back to those reasons fat belongs in your diet….here’s a few great ones:

  • Saturated fats are crucial for cell membrane structure and integrity
  • They are a valuable source for fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D and K, which are deficient in most North American Diets, and they are necessary for hormone regulation, reproduction, immunity, bone health and much more
  • Strong bone development requires saturated fat, which regulate calcium levels
  • Saturated fats make cells more resistant to oxidative damage
  • As well, saturated fats are far more stable at high temperatures than other fats, so they are unlikely to become oxidized and turn into cell damaging free radicals (as polyunsaturated fats frequently do)
  • More than half the brain consists of saturated fats and cholesterol, and these fats also compose a large part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers and ensures proper message relaying between the brain and nervous system
  • Saturated fats contain fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid and caprylic acid, which are anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-viral and all contribute towards a stronger immune system
  • Saturated fats are actually GOOD for heart health and lower a substance called Lp(a) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). –Stephanie Langford, Keeper of the Home

So if you’re a nerd like me and want to read more about this, I’ve linked a few articles I found really interesting with some great information and charts and graphs and all the sciencey stuff. Happy Reading!

The Fats We Use:

Written by Amy Pino

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The Good Fight of a Bad Farmer

15304“The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” 2 Timothy 2:6

That oddly misshapen dome-like thing near my driveway is a chicken tractor. You can’t really tell under all those zip ties and bulging chickenwire, but soon our flock will settle in there. Soon, they’ll be digging up worms, snapping at grass, and cackling with glee (at least, that’s how I see it after the cramped box they’ve been in).

But the whole thing is—to be honest—painfully bad.

My hands have grown accustomed to wireless keyboards, not wire cutters. I’m used to tapping out missives on smartphones, not mashing down seeds under anemic soil. My arms and neck still burn a bright red if I even miss one application of sunscreen.

This land out here is my grandfather’s realm, not mine. Not yet. He scooped up dirt and tested it in his hands; he tasted the rain in the air; he knew the rhythms of God’s creation

Me? I’m just trying to keep my grape vines from dying—or dying more. So much has been lost in the transmission from his generation to mine that I’m having to relearn it all. Having to pray for wisdom constantly. Having to trust God for each new project.

You’re likely to find me with a shovel in one hand and a smartphone in the other. Each step takes a dozen YouTube videos and three or four articles. Really, it feels more like falling forward.

But for my wife, for my girls, I gladly do so. Petroleum products and artificial additives caused so many issues for them. No one won us to their side in a fight against these things; no one warned us we should avoid them. We saw the impact before we even knew anyone else had declared war on them. Red dye, cherry flavor, sodium benzoate, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, these were not our friends.

So, my wannabe farmer hands took over, shaky though they may be.

This isn’t a fight against anyone or a cause to join in. It’s the good fight for them and to be the man God created me to be.

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.” James 5:7

Written by John UpChurch

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12 Deceptive Food Tricks

5.0.2It’s a new year – and yes, I’m late on that news, BUT, I thought I would go ahead and jump up on my soapbox to kick it off properly. I know, you’ve been waiting with bated breath.

For some of you real food nerds, this post will regurgitate all of the info you already know, but you should still scroll through and look at the pictures (and maybe even poke a little fun at the companies)!

For others of you, it will shed a little light on some things you’ve already suspected (you can probably stick to bold, highlighted, numbered points and look at the pictures).

And then there are others of you that are really new to this real food journey that need to read every last word, look at the pictures and read ALL of the captions and at the end of it, you will be sitting back in your chair, hands grasping the arms of said chair, gasping for air. Nah, I’m kidding…it’s not one of those, but it might make you a little mad. And you should be..it’s ridiculous.

So, without further adieu I give you…12 Deceptive Food Tricks

Written by Amy Pino

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The Post Where I Ruin Your Life: Pt 2

SugarI know, I have some nerve posting a follow up to a sensitive topic the week of Thanksgiving – Call me gutsy…or stupid…I’ve done a fairly good job at both. But enough about me! Let’s get back to talking about evils of sugar the week of Thanksgiving (mind still reeling? Yeah, me too!)! Anywho, I was asked, by a reader to talk about how we make this low sugar thing work with our kids. My quick answer: they don’t have another option. Ok, that’s trite and I won’t pretend like it doesn’t take work. Let’s face it, it is shoved, yes, shoved in their faces EVERYWHERE: Schools, church, Grandma’s house, their best friend’s house, every event you will ever go to, grocery stores, TV, and don’t even get me started on checkout lines!!! Even my beloved Whole Foods has some sort of chocolate treat at the checkout counter, although it is usually one kind and out of reach of the kids…which I appreciate. So how do kids survive on a low sugar diet?

Of course, the best way is to just not introduce it to them. I’m not even a little bit joking. It can be done. Don’t start them out eating it. That’s what I have done with my youngest. However, I know that most of us are already waist deep in this and are now learning and trying to backpedal. I get that! I was not as strict with my oldest as I have been with the other two; I didn’t know. And that’s ok. This isn’t to guilt you for choices you’ve made up to this point. It’s to give you the information and hopefully arm you with some other options so that you can make informed and better choices in the future.

So here’s what we do: We have talked and continue to talk and educate our kids about what we eat, where it comes from, how it’s made, what’s in it, whether it nourishes our bodies, what junk food it, why we choose to eat mindfully, etc. And they ask questions. We don’t read food labels with them yet. Our oldest is 6 and is probably ready for that, but the others aren’t yet. When we have something sweet, it is usually on the weekend or maybe a special event. Very occasionally, I will make something at home for dessert, but you can bet it will be made with maple syrup, raw honey or coconut palm sugar or we will have fruit for dessert.

Ok, so this is where it’s going to get a little awkward, but here we go: We don’t give carte blanche on fruit and we only occasionally give watered down juice (like 80% water, 20% juice). What?!? Yeah, we’re mean. We have one or two pieces of fruit a day, but juice is mind boggling to me. Have you ever looked at the grams of sugar in a cup of juice? Usually somewhere between 30-40g. It takes around 4 apples to make a cup of juice and yet we wouldn’t sit around and eat 4 apples in one sitting, but we will throw back a cup of juice. Why? Juice has the skin, pulp and henceforth, the fiber removed from it, so it is essentially concentrated sugar. Wait, isn’t fruit sugar ok for you? Not in that amount, friends. I also try to make sure they are getting a good balance of fats and proteins so we aren’t just filling up on carbs and sugar. Eggs are a staple here, avocados go in their smoothies, coconut oil or grass fed butter in their soaked oatmeal, etc. I try to find as many ways as I can to cut back on sugar in recipes and we use an organic liquid stevia (I feel like if I can grow it in my backyard and make it into a tincture like the liquid stevia, it’s pure and safe.) to help with that, but I still try not to make things taste so sweet. I think when you get used to so much sweetness in everything, you want it even more…in everything.

I want to challenge you to take 1 day and simply add up the grams of sugar in yours and/or your child’s diet. Eat what you “normally” eat and see where you land. I think it will really surprise you, even if you don’t eat “sweets.” I think, though it’s really, really hard at first, we have to retrain our taste buds. It really can be done! It’s amazing when you cut out excess sugars how much more you can taste your food and how sweet desserts (or fruit even) will taste to you when you try to eat them. You will be satisfied with so much less and you notice such a difference in the way you feel and likely, in your weight as well.

If you’re looking for recipes, I’m a terrible person to ask – I rarely follow one. I frustrate the life out of my family and friends because I can never give amounts on anything when asked for a recipe – It just has to taste right, people! However, I do have a nice little recipe collection on Pinterest (not my own recipes for previously stated reasons), so “Follow Me” there and pin your little heart out! And dare I say, Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Amy Pino

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